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UFC 194's Conor McGregor says Joseph Duffy loss 'was a panic situation,' will 'KO him stiff' in rematch

How about "The Notorious" versus "Irish Joe" rematch in 2016?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Conor McGregor never minces words: When he says it, he means it.

And so far he has been correct.

"Notorious" is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim Featherweight titleholder and he will be getting his long-awaited crack at 145-pound king Jose Aldo at the UFC 194 pay-per-view (PPV) on Sat. Dec. 12, 2015 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena (full fight card here).

However, as he's made abundantly clear, the Featherweight belt isn't the only piece of gold he's after.

McGregor plans on ambushing "Junior" and then making the climb to the Lightweight division, where he will then have the opportunity to trounce the winner of the upcoming UFC on FOX 17 155-pound title fight between champion Rafael dos Anjos and No. 1-ranked contender Donald Cerrone.

Be careful what you wish for, because "Cowboy" might slap the shit out of you. The Brazilian is also sick of the 27-year-old.

If he were to make the leap upward, McGregor may be reunited with former foe Joseph Duffy, also known as the last man to defeat "Notorious." The duo first met Nov. 2010 in Cork City, Ireland, where McGregor was disposed of in 38 seconds via arm-triangle choke (watch it here) by "Irish Joe."

Duffy is 2-0 in UFC, with two first-round finishes over Jake Lindsey and Ivan Jorge.

"[The loss was a] panic situation -- you learn your craft as you go, and you face defeat like a champion," McGregor told MMAjunkie.

Duffy entered UFC in 2015 holding a 12-1 overall mixed martial arts (MMA) record. The 27-year-old fought twice (both wins) after previously taking a near-three year hiatus from the sport to embark on a professional boxing career.

While Duffy ran his boxing record up to the tune of 7-0, with two victories via knockout, McGregor continued climbing the ranks in Ireland, eventually attaining both the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship featherweight and lightweight titles.

It was when Duffy made the decision to return to MMA in 2014, that McGregor became a bit agitated and began keeping a closer eye on his fellow Irishman's whereabouts.

"He loses the Cage Warriors Lightweight belt and quits the sport, blames a broken hand, moves country, changed teams, changes sport then sees my success, my hard work," said McGregor. "When I face defeat, I put my head down, and I grinded, and I rose up and became a two-weight champion in Cage Warriors and UFC Featherweight champion."

With both of their UFC careers in full throttle, the anticipation of a rematch between McGregor and Duffy grows with each passing victory.

Dustin Poirier, a streaking Lightweight and previous foe of McGregor's, is Duffy's next opponent at UFC Fight Night 76. "The Diamond" was cut down by McGregor in the first round back at UFC 178 in Sept. 2014.

But, Poirier is on a two-fight win streak in a new division. He's also a veteran of 22 MMA fights and has endured the media attention that comes with participating in a major bout.

"Let's see how he handles Dustin. Dustin's no slouch. Dustin comes to fight. Dustin is experienced," McGregor lamented. "A lot of people think they can do what I do until it's time to do what I do. It's a completely different animal with all the media obligation, all the stress.

I'm interested to see how it goes, I wish him well. When the opportunity - if the opportunity presents itself - I will KO him stiff."

Let's see how McGregor handles Aldo in the main event of UFC 194, which should come with even more media obligations than his defunctbut immensely successful, UFC 189 headliner with Chad Mendes.

Oh, and stay tuned for the premiere of his coaching debut opposite Urijah Faber on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 22 on Wed. Sept. 9, 2015 at 10 p.m. ET (see full cast, program details here).

For more on the respective UFC Fight Night 76 and UFC 194 fight cards click here and here.

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